Apps for New Virtual Reality Frontiers

It’s a brand new year, which means it’s time for a brand new entrepreneurial venture! The hottest market of 2016 (and probably 2017) were the new Digital Realities: Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed. And we’ve talked a lot about how these new realities will change everything from Business to Gaming.

But every once and awhile, we like to take a step back, to see how new technologies can help brick-and-mortar, non-tech industries. A recent example of this was our discussion on using tech similar to Amazon Go for Mom and Pop Stores. But today, we wanted to focus on how VR/AR is impacting another favorite topic of ours: Cooking and (naturally) eating.

Believe it or not, enhanced realities can make a huge impact on this industry. It will help train the new generation of Chefs. It will help promote modern restaurants. And it will even help promote better eating practices and may help with weight loss.

Learn How to Cook with VR

A very standard part of any Chef’s training is a brief tutelage with a top chef. It often involves spending a lot of money to travel somewhere, like France and Japan (the two countries with the most Michelin-rated restaurants). These apprenticeships often last for 6 months or longer; needless to say, this was often cost-prohibitive for many aspiring chefs.

Enter Virtual Reality Apps. Imagine what it would be like to learn at the side of some of the world’s top chefs. Imagine an app that works with any VR equipment, transporting users to the kitchens of some of the most legendary masters in the world. Already many apps from cooking legends are available, in the form of videos and cookbook apps.

But VR apps for chefs go beyond that. The value of a teaching aide app that immerses users completely within a simulated kitchen is immeasurable. This type of app places a student in the very world of their teacher; VR apps for chefs-in-training take chefs out of the study pooks and place them within an interactive teaching environment.

You read that right: interactive. Using AI tools like those SDI has created, it’s even possible to create a Virtual Personal Sous Chef. This AI can help correct the chef as he is learning new dishes or mastering a new technique. It can even help keep track of how long dishes have been cooking/sitting, what still needs to be prepped, and so on. But things get very cool when you throw in Augmented Reality.

How Augmented Reality is Making New Master Chefs

Smart Homes have been making a splash recently, but Smart Kitchens are only just getting started. Recently, several researchers, scientists, and plain ol’ entrepreneurs have used AR and AI to create amazing cool Smart Kitchens. From Japan, to the University of Washington, these Smart Kitchens use Machine Learning combined with cameras to track movements, direct technique, and even measure ingredients.

The Kyoto Sangyo University in Japan has used cameras and projectors mounted on a kitchen ceiling with AR to provide visual, step by step instructions. This is an exceptionally useful tool, going so far as to overlay lines on meat, directing the chef where they should cut. It even records movements and has small robot assistant that will measure ingredients and let the chef know what (if any) else is needed.

At the UK’s Newcastle University, researchers there created a Smart Kitchen that helps you cook while teaching you French! The language! Additionally, the system uses a series of Accelerometers to track what instruments cooks have picked up, correcting them (in French first, then English) if they have chosen the wrong instrument.

Finally, researchers from the University of Washington in the US use cameras that can judge sizes and depths of a bowl. This system follows chefs around the kitchen, using these cameras to note when ingredients have been added to a bowl, and to note whether or not it was the correct amount. They hope that the system will soon have the ability to detect when an incorrect ingredient was added!

Keep in mind that while SDI doesn’t make hardware, we can easily write whole systems for Smart Kitchens – or we can set you up with an app to take advantage of this growing market.

Other Arenas

There are two other ideas we wanted to discuss, but the tech is still in it’s infancy (which means you could be a pioneer – the rich kind!). This means that the details are sparse, so we will cover both in one section. First:

• Virtual Chow: VR is getting to the point where it can easily simulate even something as complex as eating and taste. While we’re still mastering the tech for Virtual Taste, there are still other ways of promoting your restaurant with VR. Think of an app that has VR recreations of a typical night at your restaurant. Ambience, lighting, Staff, Plating, other Clientele – all of these impact how a potential diner views your restaurant. Why not show them what it’s like before they even stop by??

Secondly:

• Weightloss. Yep – there is good evidence to believe that an app built with the right development principles could prove a significant boon to those who struggle with weight. This can be done by simulating a meal, and stimulating the same chemical receptors activated when we eat. Already, similar tech is being applied in the medical world to injuries as severe as systemic body burns.

In other words, we’re only just beginning to realize just how impactful VR/AR/MR will be on the world. What is clear, though, is that the market is just gaining steam – and that the money’s out there, just waiting to be seized. Want to get your fair share? Give us a call at 408.802.2885/408.621.8481 – or click to contact us!

Build a VR app for Pain Management

The US is currently in the throes of an opioid-addiction epidemic. All across the nation, millions of adults are battling this awful addiction. The mortality rate of white men rose sharply – for the first time in modern history in a modern developed nation.

The worst part of this is that it generally starts with someone being in exceptional, chronic pain and a doctor trying to help manage said pain. Unfortunately, the pain relief opioids provide does not last for as long as it was originally thought; this led to accidental abuse of opioids and, eventually to addiction.

While we are now aware of this issue, pulling or controlling the prescriptions with more rigor has led people to turn to street opiates; and, for the first time in decades, we’re seeing the rise of heroin addicts.

But what if all of this can be avoided? What if it’s not necessary to even prescribe opioids at all? It seems like the solution has arrived: Virtual reality apps.

In the last few months, we’ve seen the rise of VR and AR apps for all sorts of things, but one of the coolest things we’ve seen is the rise of VR apps that actually help people manage chronic pain, without the use of drugs.

More importantly, clinical trials and extensive research on the first of these initiatives show that they work, and work well. Recent research shows that the use of such apps can dramatically and effectively reduce chronic pain. In other words, this isn’t just some okey get rich scheme – the concept has been tried and tested by medical professionals. And they’re saying it works.

Notably, this is different than just a year or so ago. Once VR tech took millions just to build the lab. Now a VR app can be built for a few thousand. In 2014, nearly 20 studies showed that the pain relief was not long term. In 2015, many hospitals were extremely leery of VR-based pain relief tech.

Today, Apps like DeepStream’s Cool! are being used in some of the biggest hospitals in the US. This is the future of Pain Management folks. Virtual Reality provides a whole array of tools to help people fight back against ongoing pain, from injuries of all sorts. With DayDream to be released in the next couple of weeks, now is the time to launch your own VR app for healthcare.

We’ve known for a long time that pain is heavily influenced by a person’s state of mind. If a person is in chronic pain, it becomes a way of life. It raises stress, which in turn creates more pain. In fact, there are decades of research is what is known as psychosomatic pain, or psychological pain (like PTSD) that manifests physically.

It’s also known that the human brain can actually cure many ailments, diseases, and manage pain. One such phenomenon is known as the Placebo Effect: a patient is given medicine to help manage pain or an affliction; what they don’t know is that the meds they are given are sugar pills (not medication at all). All the same, there is generally a percentage of test subjects who report a decrease in pain.

Ready to build your own VR app? The money is there: by 2025, Goldman-Sachs predicts that the VR app industry will generate $95 billion annually, and $5 billion of that will be generated by apps for healthcare. Contact SDI today to build your own app in 6 weeks or less.

For those who need some inspiration, let’s take a look at some of the coolest VR apps and technologies for Pain Management.

FirstHand: SnowWorld

This amazing app transports the user to a world of snow: penguins, mammoths, snowballs – the whole 9 yards. Meanwhile, doctors are treating the wound or wounds of the user: cleaning, bandaging, etc. The case study? A victim with nearly 20% of his body covered in burns.

For a burn victim, treating and cleaning wounds is an excruciating process. So painful that it frequently causes psychological damage. Unfortunately, it is absolutely essential. Burn wounds are easily infected and can kill a victim if left untreated for any length of time.

SnowWorld’s virtual world of Ice transports patients to an entirely immersive world, including a very large field of view (at least 60 degrees) to fully immerse the patient. Additionally music is played:

SnowWorld puts Pixar-like animation to medical use in a virtual video game that relieves the pain of burn victims. Try it. It is completely absorbing to pelt woolly mammoths and penguins with snowballs while your ears are filled with the irresistible strains of (Paul Simon’s) Graceland.” – The New York Times

Not only are patients reporting less pain, but a FMRI provides concrete proof that the brain is feeling less pain while in SnowWorld. Basically, this app emphasizes “mindfulness” and “relaxation” to convince a patient’s brain that they are not experiencing pain.

DeepStream VR: COOL!

Cool!, based on the DeepStream VR platform is similar to SnowWorld, but more of a game. Users are capable of controlling how immersive the experience is, the experience is ongoing, allowing a patient to stay in as long as needed, and (like SnowWorld) uses biometrics to help patients to enhance the “mindfulness” techniques.

And it seems to be exceptionally effective. Here are the numbers, taken from DeepStream’s own website:

♦ 48 hours of effective pain relief; for comparison, opioids are generally effective (by label) for 12 hours and more likely actually effective only for 8 hours;

♦ About 70% of users reported less pain while in the VR world;

♦ And about half reported a decrease in pain right after they finished the treatment.

While the website also stated that with the newest version of Cool! patients had no issues with nausea or headaches, a common problem associated with VR apps and worlds. This is frequently caused by “Retinal Binocular Disparity” (RBD). RBD is basically what happens when each eyes perceiving a single image, but in an uneven or unequal way i.e. poorer vision in one eye.

It’s caused by all sorts of things, and isn’t solely relegated to the world of VR; it can happen just by having a significantly better vision in one eye than the other. Fortunately, as a VR app development company, our team knows how to mitigate RBD to make the VR experience more enjoyable (and less vomit-inducing).

Build Your Own HealthCare App for VR

Want to make it rich with your own virtual reality app for Daydream, Android, or iOS? Give us a call at 408.802.2885 / 408.621.8481 for all your virtual reality app development needs. You can also click to contact us!

How to Make Money with a VR App for Daydream

VR is here and making its presence known in a big way! One of the things any good entrepreneur watches for is what the big boys in the industry are doing – big guys like Google. So what is this Mega-corporation doing?

Well, they just launched an entire OS designed to deliver a high quality, mobile virtual reality experience. And it seems like Nougat is really just a tantalizing hint of the real VR project – DayDream.

DayDream promises to be a VR game changer and it is 100% clear that Google has a huge investment in the project and in VR in general. In fact, Google seems to have made apps for VR and the platforms to support them a massive priority.

There are already VR startups cropping up all around DayDream (and it’s not even out yet!), thinking of fascinating new ways to take advantage of this evolving technology. One such startup is TheWaveVR.

What is this fledgling startup doing with VR? Changing the face of Live music – forever. This platform allows music lovers to jump into a VR musical show. Anywhere in the world, at any time – with other music lovers from around the globe!

So what made Finn Staber (the CEO of TheWaveVR) confident enough to build a VR platform for DayDream – which is even available to the market yet? First, there’s clearly a consumer hunger for VR and AR apps and second, he did exactly what we’re talking about:

It’s clear they’ve [Google] spent a lot of money internally.” – Finn Staber

Heck, Google is even partnering with the Live Streaming service Hulu to actually fund Youtube VR content. DayDream is specifically designed to not only promote VR and encourage User engagement, but to make Google the undeniable leader of Virtual Reality.

And more than that, Google has gone all in on the idea of Mobile VR (like Cardboard). While they’ve invested slightly in actual equipment, but Google clearly believes that the future of mobility and the future of VR are intertwined.

While other VR companies are spending money hand over fist on expensive equipment that won’t be market viable for another year or two, Google already has a VR platform launched. And there are literal billions of mobile devices in the world.

So why this push behind a tech that’s only just barely got started? Sure, Cardboard is cool, but is it worth the significant investment of money and time that Google has poured into it? The short answer? Yes, absolutey.

The technology behind VR promises to be one of, if not the biggest field in app tech by the end of this decade. Think about it: VR tech basically got started this year. Sure there were Oculus and others have been around for a few years.

But really, 2016 will be remembered in history as the year Apps for VR started to gain momentum. In the last year alone, sales of VR tech broke $1 billion (roughly $1.5 bil so far!), but that’s small potatoes compared to how much money this market can make.

Gartner and Bloomberg recently published their VR sales predictions for the next 4 years; honestly, as a VR app development we knew that this was a money making industry but these numbers surprised even us – :

1. 2017: $4 billion (doubled from this year);

2. 2018: $9 billion (doubled again);

3. 2019: $14 billion; and (drum roll please)

4. 2020: a whopping $21 billion

That’s right; Bloomberg and Gartner, two of the most respected names in the world of economics and market analysis, expect VR sales to go from less than a billion dollars in 2015 to over 20 just 5 short years later.

This all paints one hell of a clear picture: if you want to make money, you should be developing your own VR app for Android – or even for iOS and other platforms. Google is so committed to becoming the name in VR that they’ve developed Android Nougat VR SDKs for iPhone as well.

Even better news is that Google has an entire SDK meant for VR app developers. This SDK, known as Unity, streamlines VR app development for platforms across the board (not just DayDream and Cardboard.

Unity anticipates and rectifies common VR app issues, from binocular distortion to headtracking. With Unity, SDI’s VR app developers can rapidly design, develop, and launch a VR app for Cardboard and even Daydream. Heck, if you call now we might just be able to get your VR app ready for the launch of Daydream in about 1 month!

Right now is the perfect time to enter the market. With DayDream around the corner and Nougat so clearly designed for VR, apps for VR and AR will soon flood the market. But with our help, you can beat them to the market.

So, if you act quickly you will get to launch with DayDream, you will likely beat competitors to the punch, and you get your pick of the market. Our services are designed to help startups become money making machines – from VR and beyond, we grow tech enterprise.

So what do you have to do to get started? Easy: pick up the phone and call 408.802.2885 / 408.621.8481 – or click to contact us. Either way, get in touch now for a free quote and consultation.